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Bishops Finger | Shepherd Neame Ltd

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Bishops FingerBishops Finger
284 Ratings
Bishops FingerBishops Finger

Brewed by:
Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2001

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Ratings: 284 |  Reviews: 115
Photo of msubulldog25
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A great gift from a new friend from across the pond----THANKS IAN!

This classic ESB pours a beautiful brownish red from the clear bottle with a nice off white head of foam that lasts long with great lacing. Nose of caramel malts, dark berries notes of raspberries and some strawberry, and a good dose of floral hops. Flavors exceed the nose with caramel malts dancing about raspberry tartness and beautiful floral hops. Nice carbonation makes for an easy refreshing brew. Finish is long and moderately bitter with a touch of tartness. An excellent example of a quality ESB.

 579 characters

Photo of safaricook
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Got this at a visit to my first Irish pub in years at the Moynihans on Madeira.
It was served in the Bishops finger Pint glass and drunk on the breezy terrace with the ocean in view.

Offwhite creamy head that left substatial lacing and reduced slowly to a rim. Body is a clear amber with not much bubbles to mention.
Nose is a flowery English hop, caramel and sweet cherries. Nice!
Taste follows nose with the hops being more resinous and piney. And this addictive caramel flavor.
Body is medium and a bit flat but suits the style though not being English, I miss my bubbles.
Overall a really good example of the style that differs from the Fuller's ESB by the flowery hops. It seems I love this style.

 708 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The gf flew one home for me from Woking.

The look of the beer is a very nice medium dark amber. Some nice head formed and lasted a generous amount of time. Decently carbonated with some good lacing. Pretty average but decent aromas, some bitter sweet and just slightly malty. The taste is a very pleasant bitter and a nice balance of malt and somewhat other hard to described flavors (not to steal someone elses description but almost buttery and slight citrus.) Mouth feel is very creamy and feels good going over the tongue.

I wouldn't make this and everyday beer but it was a nice change of pace from what i usually drink.

 629 characters

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The drink pours nicely, giving a head which lasts for about a quarter of an hour, which also has a very nice colour: sort of yellow at the bottom getting whiter as you go up.

The smell is good, very good. A rich smell, reminding me somewhat of roasted coffee.

The taste is bitter, and quite harsh, the bitterness remaining for a few moments, dwindling out slowly which can be either good or bad, depending on your tastes. The roasted characteristic remains in the taste, as well as a strong hopp taste.

Overall it is fairly drinkable although somewhat harsh and bitter.

Note also the harshness increases as the beer warms up.

 631 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear amber beer, an off-white head that leaves good lacing.

A good bready malt aroma, a bit of sweetness and a god measure of hops. A faint metallic taint at the end.

The hops are predominant in the taste, with nice bitter notes. But some sweet tones from cookie crumbs. Good balance.

Medium carbonation and a smooth feeling.

A good solid typical English brew.

 367 characters

Photo of JamFuel
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served reasonably cold into a pint glass. Purchased while on vacation in the UK.

Appearance - a clear dark golden, slight amber beer with a finger and a half of white head that lasts for a bit.

Smell - clean with some grainy and lots of dark fruit flavors. A wonderful mix of berries and currents and plums all together.

Taste - like the nose but even more intense. The fruity characteristics make this very tasty and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel - smooth, fairly light, modest carbonation and an easy drinking way about it.

Overall - a very good ESB, one of my faves. Certainly worth a try for anyone with access to it. Enjoying this while on vacation in the UK.

 679 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Light amber bronze color. Decent off-white foamy head. Decent retention with a little lacing left.

S - Toasted grain and malt, with a good amount of caramel and toffee. Some nuts and earthy hops.

T - Balance between the hops and the malt and grain. Hops are tea-like, earthy, and floral. There is a toasted malt/grain taste. Gives it a slightly bready and sweet taste. The hops are more prominent than the malt.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Fizzy and slightly smooth.

D - Good drinkability between the balanced flavors and the good body. The body and flavor are a little too watery for me really to enjoy, but it is good.

Notes: Lots of tea, floral, herbal flavors. Very balanced flavors. Nothing overpowers and it is a little thin for me, but a good all around everyday beer.

 808 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (50cl), tasted in 2000.
Appearance : deep amber color (dark malt), with white foam head
Smell : rich malty nose,
Taste and mouthfeel : notes of chocolate, hoped, well balancing bitterness, finish of smoky malt.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style ESB

 268 characters

Photo of innominat
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of rastaman
2.78/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I think its Ok, but its a bit smelly. The body is thin, but theres some nice flavours of citrus, roasty chocolate in there, i think its OK, but theres better stuff from the mother country.

 188 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, nicely copper coloured with a short, fine head. Spotty lace throughout.

Came across as skunky on first being opened. Eventually smells of hops and slightly of wet leaves.

Taste is sweet caramel up front, followed straight away by dry hoppy bitterness. That dry bitterness sticks and will stay with your mouth for a while. Smooth mouthfeel.

Not bad, a bit too dry and bitter for my taste, however.

 412 characters

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a seriously good beer. It pours bright brown and clear with very little head. The aroma is floral and with suggestions of toffee and sweet malts. The taste is similar and overall very well balanced. Fairly light bodied and with hardly any noticeable carbonation, especially after a few minutes. 

 304 characters

Photo of Sellen
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pootz
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice fancy 500ml clear bottle put a Dark copper-brown ale in My pint glass. Modest head but good lacing...fairly pungent aromas of fruit ( apricot) over a musty burlap undertone. Good malt spine of caramel malts upfront but it is quickly ballanced off by resinous pine-like hops that continue to get increasingly bitter until the finish where they leave a lasting metalic after taste....this is a quality bitter but these styles of ale are not my favorite so that bias may explain my overall rating....it reflects my impression that this brew has nothing unique to distinguish itself in this style.

 598 characters

Photo of spointon
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Paccamacca
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of vinicole
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear chestnut brown. Long lasting but thin head.
Malt and floral hops aroma.
Taste reflects the aroma with added leaf hop bitterness.
Moderate feel.
Standard English ESB.

 171 characters

Photo of Squire123
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Absumaster
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an brown, dark amber color with a creamy head which sticks to the glass. Very low visible carbonation.

Smell is slightly metallic, fruity like a good english beer, some caramel malt. Quite hoppy actually, but this comes out a little later. A malt smell is in the back.

Taste of caramel and slightly bitter, yet hoppy. A nice yeasty fruitness and perfect maltiness. There is a slight husky taste, but this really adds to the beer. A dry and thin mouthfeel, which match the beer.

For me an average bitter, just decent stuff.

 548 characters

Photo of Globetrotter
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this review should probably be taken in the context of the three pretty horrible Russian beers I had before finally cracking this open. My, what a refreshing change! Even the clear glass bottle didn't seem to effect the situation as I poured this beautiful clear copper liquid into my pint glass. A nice off-white contoured head built to just a bit more than a finger before settling at about one centimeter, which deposited some nice lace rings as the liquid descended. There's a nice strong malty nose with an enticing touch of flowery hops. The mouth is prickly and heavy. There's a good crisp malty opening, followed by a full hoppy bitterness that leaves a nice fresh aftertaste. Thanks, I needed that!

 713 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.23/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an awesome deep bronze color with an ivory rocky head that lasts the entire glass. Lacework is intricate and copious. The aroma is of a roasty biscuity maltiness some buttery esters and a wiff of fresh english hops. Its a very well balanced nose. The taste is mosly malty, but dry, chocolatey and roasty, rather than a 'dark fruit' christmas pudding maltiness. Theres quite a bit of fruity yeast character, that classic dry english yeast flavor. Theres a bit of diacytl too, but its very complimentary, not over the top. Hops definitely play second fiddle. They have a fresh earthy taste. The mouthfeel is medium and softly carbonated.

This is a very tastey ESB that I highly recommend if you like English ales. Its maltier than most, but not underhopped. Unfortunately its in a clear bottle, fortunately theres lots of brewery and beer info on it.

 858 characters

Bishops Finger from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 284 ratings
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